How the Cookie Crumbles

An irreverant view of life after SIXTY-FIVE


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Cape Spear Anyone? Anyone?

Finally, some excitement. Francis forgot to counts heads and the bus crept out of the parking spot from Cape Spear. The driver inched forward with caution as other tourist milled about around and in front of our bus. (Single) Angela from Germany came running up the hill. One worried husband tore down the aisle to the front of the bus. “One minute, Francis. My wife is missing.”

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You should have seen our tour guide’s face. Though he’s of a ruddy complexion, he turned the red of a sun-drenched tomato. Angela soon lumbered up the steps breathless, with a lopsided grin on her flushed face. This time, the bus driver piped in. “You thought we’d leave without you, eh?”

The worried husband pointed a finger with relief in his voice. ”There she is.” Thirty pairs of eyes turned to their left—no, more—some wore glasses. The missing woman hobbled up the steep grade waving to the bus. Wait for me. I’m coming. She had turned an ankle in her rush, but not enough for medical attention. As she made her way inside the bus, her husband wiggled a finger at her. Using a stern voice but unable to hide his amusement, he said, “Don’t you ever scare me like that again.” He burst out laughing as did she. The whole bus roared, even Francis.

The woman came this way but towards us

                                            The woman came this way but towards us

Francis then entertained us with a story where he had been left behind in the Dominican Republic. He left the resort in a taxi at 6:00 a.m. wanting to tour in the Catalina Islands. Then he hopped on a bus, then a catamaran, and a paddle wheeler down to a monastery. He was the only English speaking person out of the 60 on the tour. He walked around, took pictures and decided to return to the bus. No bus. Everyone—gone. He walked out to the highway. Waited and waited. Along came a yellow bus with only one seat at the back. Half-asleep, the guy in the next seat pointed to his armband. Francis had a blue one; his seatmate a pink one.

The good Samaritan called to the driver, who figured out Francis was on the wrong bus. He pulled over on the highway and made him get off.

A car came along with some guys inside. “Want help? Want help?”

No, he wasn’t getting into the car but decided to walk. The gist is he came across security guards who could not speak English. A guy came along on a bike. “Trouble, trouble,” he said in English.

Francis saw a car, walked up to the driver and asked, “Where am I?” The guy shook his head.

A small voice in the back asked in good English, “Can I help you, sir?”

Francis could have hugged him. “How far to the resort?

“Three and a half hours.”

“How much to get back to the resort?”

“$90.00 U.S.D.

He finally arrived by 11:00 p.m. All the buses had returned at 5:00 p.m. What a state his wife was in! This story proves how important counting your tour passengers is. After his experience, he always remembered that. Except, this time.

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Cape Spear Quick Facts:

  • Glacier once covered this area (see all the loose boulders)
  • 1836, first lighthouse at Cape Spear
  • East coast trail (hikers come from St. John’s, from everywhere)
  • In summer, tour guides have to force people into bus (stop the whale watching)
  • Bunkers from WWII
  • Most easterly point of North America

* * *

Next on October 30 – Signal Hill

© 2016 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles. All Rights Reserved.

For more related posts, click on Newfoundland / Labrador tab at the top of the page


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Is it Real, or is it a Memory?

Hello bloggers, near and far; dear and dearer. I am alive. Yes, this summer is almost over and already sliding into memory. I meant to visit you right after Labor Day, but was sidetracked—I needed to catch my breath. Whew.

The best part is the kids are back in school. Life should get back to normal, whatever that is. I flipped my daily schedule upside down: work first and play later. This means blogging will not happen until the latter part of the day. I cannot be trusted on social media for an hour or two at a time. Twelve hours disappear before I even notice. Poof, the day is lost and I’m wiped. I wonder how long this setup will last. It’s failed before, but I must try.

No, the trees aren't changing yet. This is from last October

No, our trees aren’t changing yet. This is from last October

I managed to do some of what I’d planned this summer and even some I had not. The bottom line is I needed a break from my break. Yeah, I’m a wuss—a shock to me too. Oh, oh. Do I see you rolling your eyes?

I still have a mountain of unread books on my dining-room table, which hasn’t shrunk by much. Sigh. It will take a little time to work my way back and I may not manage to be quite as vigilant as before. I have missed so much of what’s been happening in Blogland and all of you, of course. I feel like a stranger. I will never manage a catch up, but I am on my way back. I hope there’s still a place for me at the coffee table.

Here’s a link I came across this morning. Fits me like a slinky dress. Some of you too, right?

http://www.thespec.com/living-story/6859752-13-things-you-need-to-stop-doing-to-be-happier-right-now/

Hugs all around. Mwah.

See you next Friday?


My FIFTH Blogoversary Gala

Join in. All welcome. There’s plenty for everyone. Make yourselves comfortable; a server will hand you a glass of champagne in a second.

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Blogging friends, neighbors, countrymen…

I’ve enjoyed FIVE fabulous years with you, far beyond anything I might have imagined. Some friendships have stuck from the beginning. Wow! Five years. Who would have thought? Not me. Without YOU to read,  comment, and share, I would not be here now.

Many, many thanks for your help, support, and stories shared. I’ve learned new things from each of you and am grateful for the community spirit here. How dare anyone whisper bloggers are not real people. You are all real to ME and I am grateful for your friendships.

* * *

I have another announcement.

School’s out. My grand kids need me and I won’t fib. I also have a pile of unfinished writing I need to attend to and hope to take care of both. See you in September? Have a wonderful summer!  Mw-aah.  XX

I will still be available to anyone with whom I’ve made previous arrangements. and can still  be reached through my  Contact tab—especially if I should I win a lottery.

Comments are currently turned off. Sorry.

Happy 4th of July to my American friends, Monday!


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More Brigus and Petty Harbour

The weather had become humid and heavy with rain since before lunch.

Francis said we were on our own for supper, but I recalled the plans had been changed because we wouldn’t see whales and puffins per our itinerary. This last, added tour was too late in the season. An e-mail notice had mentioned we’d be treated to dinner instead. I asked Mary to dig up the email on her iPad. As we read it, Francis retracted his announcement. Another free meal. Yay.

Before we leave the little town of Brigus, I have a couple more interesting tidbits. We walked down the road to Brigus Tunnel. Granddaddy Abram Bartlett (to Captain Bob) had this tunnel built to avoid a busy, crowded harbor. This accommodated his trips to Labrador for summer fishing and to offload his catch without crowding when he returned.

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Once we walked through the tunnel, this is what awaited where Abram unloaded his ship.:

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On our way back to the bus, we came upon these yellow flowers. According to Norm, a member of our party, they are from the snapdragon family: called butter and eggs. The more I looked at them, the more the name fit.

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Once on the bus, Francis popped in a DVD about the resettlement from Paradise Bay. The government at work again. Sigh.

http://www.heritage.nf.ca/articles/politics/resettlement-program.php

Return to Paradise for the Pomeroy Family:

Petty Harbour:

I took a gazillion photos. It’s a small world as they say. We met some people from Sarnia vacationing in Petty Harbour in a house off the harbor. Two couples in our group were also from the same city and soon all ended up chatting together.

It’s a pretty place, but we didn’t see any fish arriving nor fisherman unloading them.

Storage containers each hold 2,000 pounds of cod.They are about a yard square and so well insulated, our guide bought an old one, cut a door in it, put on a peaked roof, and his dog is comfy all winter.

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Petty Harbour Quick Facts:

  • Images of Petty Harbour
  • Gordon Pinsent made many movies here
  • Orca the Killer Whale movie made here
  • Alan Doyle (singer, actor) was in movie in his hometown Petty Harbour
  • Houses along Petty Harbour Road are more upscale, modern, vinyl-covered
  • Few houses in wood
  • Ziplining: See here and here popular (off the cliffs, Petty Harbour Road)
  • Fastest growing area
  • Building a city within a city: Costco, huge theatre
  • Areas set aside for seniors’ centers and industrial areas
  • All dairy farms around here
  • Grow cattle corn because too expensive to bring in feed
  • No railway to supplement the hay
  • Sign on the way to St. John’s: Irish Loop Drive (because it reminded them of home)
  • Reminds you why the Irish settled on the coast = looked so much like home)
  • ABC = Anyone but Conservatives (last ruling government)

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* * *

On the Lighter Side:

Mary felt her husband’s hands wander over her body. “Oh, John. I didn’t know you were feeling so romantic.”

“Go to sleep, Mary. I was looking for the remote.”

* * *

Next time: Cape Spear and Signal Hill

© 2016 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles.

For more related posts, click on Newfoundland / Labrador tab at the top of the page

 


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Lunch and a Visit to Brigus

Lunch awaited at Skipper Ben’s Restaurant in Cupids, which is also a bed and breakfast for only a couple people at a time. Francis says he’d stayed overnight in the past. The food had been pre-ordered and arrived hot soon after we were seated. How the cook managed, I cannot imagine. The kitchen was teeny-tiny. I like a large island or lots of counter space to work on, neither of which were evident. If I hadn’t checked out the washrooms, I wouldn’t have seen the work space.

We entered through the cute side door with a plaque. The front of the building was on the other side.

Inside there were just enough tables to accommodate our reduced group of 22. Three people left on Day 7 and 6 on Day 8).

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Mary and I had been too busy talking and I forgot to take pictures of the food. We both ordered fish cakes and vegetables but didn’t taste the cod for the mashed potatoes that glued the cakes together. A fellow across from me, smiled from ear to ear, smacked his lips and said in a loud voice, “You can’t even taste any potato in these fish cakes.” I wonder if he was being facetious.

Dessert: a crepe wrapped around fruit with  phony whipped cream. I’m glad I don’t take to sweets.

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The Town of Brigus

  • Best blueberry pies anywhere
  • A popular tourist spot now
  • Quiet, quaint, colorful, and well-kept

Captain Bob Bartlett was raised in Brigus, enjoyed fishing, sealing and exploring. During one of his expeditions, his ship, the Karluk became stuck in the ice. When he realized his ship had to be given up, he played all his classical records one by one and threw each into the sea. The last one he played was the Funeral March.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63B2y5RxbNs (a song about his adventures – Enjoy)

He traveled 700 miles to Alaska by sledge, obtained another ship, returned in five months and saved his crew. He lost not one man.

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The Bartlett family lived in Hawthorne Cottage between 1885 and 1946. Due to his many expeditions, and other as a child, I can’t imagine how much time he spent living in this house.

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Named for the hawthorn trees planted around the house.

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John Leamon Museum (Could not find much information about it.)

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Brigus Seafaring Families Plaque:

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Some of the delightful street names in Brigus:

Irishtown Road South Street Conception Bay Highway
Magistrate’s Hill Beaver Road Station Road
Jane’s Hill Forge Road Quigley Bay
Barrach’s Road Chapel Lane Spacklin Lane
Church Hill Station Line Keating Road
Vindicator Lane School Street Ridge Road
Water Street Blueberry Place The Old Road

* * *

On the Lighter Side:

A guy comes into a bar and orders three beers, goes to a table, and drinks them one after another. One night, he orders only two and the bartender asks if one of his brothers died.

“Oh, no. I gave up drinking.”

* * *

Next on July 1st – More Brigus and Petty Harbor

© 2016 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles.

For more related posts, click on Newfoundland / Labrador tab at the top of the page


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#BlogBattle – Week 63

Prompt: Hero

Words:  1461

Genre: Drama

Check out the rules:  https://blogbattlers.wordpress.com/

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Image by Pixaby. No  attribution required.

Butterfingers

The family reunion lurched into full swing.

Will Bailey’s back dug into the battered picnic table Stick-like joints folded elbows to knees like a grasshopper enjoying the sun. They unfurled with a snap, a closed fist smashing a wayward volleyball from shattering his head. Crack.

“Wow. Did you see that, guys?” A crimson-cheeked fat kid raced forward, slack-jawed.

Perspiring teenage boys and girls milled around Will, anxious hands patted his back and shoulders. A hand still at half-mast, his booming laugh replaced a self-satisfied grin. ”It’s nothing. Back to your game boys and girls. Which side is winning again?”

The boys, rowdy and energetic, high-fived. A reedy boy leaned forward. “I can’t believe the girls whooped that wild ball so hard, Uncle Will.” Adam’s apple bobbing, he smirked at his friends. “Surprise. Surprise.”

A raven-haired girl fought her way through the throng and crossed her arms. “The girls? It only takes one, buster, and that would be me—Penny.” She poked a thumb into her chest. “Little old me.” Hoisting herself to full height, the curvy girl stood no more than four feet from naked heels to the top of her head. The boys snickered and shook their heads.

“You do have a mean serve, girlie. Maybe you’ll learn to straighten it before you kill somebody?” He pointed at his nephew. Intermittent gasps sputtered in the crowd. A couple girls whispered, heads bowed, stealing glances at his hand. “When’s the last time you hit the ball half that hard?” He churned the air with open palms. “Go on and play fair.” The boys shuffled off elbowing each other. Will folded his gangly form once more, eyes closed, face to the sun.

Hot and limp from chasing the ball, someone threw a T-shirt heavenwards. “Last one in lake is a loser.” Bare feet pounded the sand, churning it in all directions as they passed organizers filling the park’s stone barbeque surfaces with meat. The sound and smell of sizzling burgers already worked on their appetites. Soggy tees soared like damaged birds only to nose-dive with a thump. Unzipped shorts followed, marking a wide trail to water’s edge. Dozing sunbathers and excited children at play in the sand slowed the rambunctious flock. They wove in and out around them, pushing and tugging, shouting and squealing at the top of their lungs.

Will ran a hand through thinning white hair and smiled. He dropped his hand and studied it. After all these years, he still wasn’t used to it. He turned with a start at the light hand on his shoulder. “I didn’t hear you come up, Josh.”

The reedy nephew pleated himself on the bench beside him. “Dad’s always saying I look more like you than him. Weird, isn’t it.”

Will studied the seventeen-year-old, a corner of his mouth twitching. “Seems so. A hardship, is it?”

“No-o. A comment—is all.” Josh toed the patch grass. “Good to see you. It’s been a long year since the last family picnic. We never see you.”

“You know I can’t drive, right? Can’t afford one of them fancy cars, neither. Even if I had a license, they probably wouldn’t renew it at my age. Something on your mind, Josh?”

“Not really. Wanted to talk without interruption. How you been keeping?” He squinted over his shoulder, breathing in through his nose. “I’m famished. Given the opportunity, I’d eat a whole cow not just a couple burgers. Why does food always smell so good outside?”

Will chuckled, pushing hands against the bench to rearrange his lean rump on the hard surface. “Fresh air and exercise, I suppose. I’m good for an old geezer and the shape I’m in. Thanks for asking. What I’ve missed—can’t lie—was playing sports and the freedom to do as I pleased.” He lowered reflective sunglasses to peer over the top. “Is that your mother bringing food?”

Changed to a dry Tee, Josh rubbed his chest and belly. “That’s mom. Bless her.”

“Son, my hat—is it under the table? The dang sun is frying my brains like steak.” The high-pitched clang of an iron dinner bell pealed in the distance. “Thanks. That feels better already.” He raised a hand in salute to Josh’s mother.

“Why don’t we move you and your chair into the shade? High noon. It’s hot enough to fry bacon on my nose.”

“About time you put your hat back on and moved out of the sun. Can’t chat—don’t want a stampede. The young ones are over eager now the food’s ready.” She chuckled, a buttery sound. “Later, Will.” Plates smacked down, she was gone.

“More comfortable in the chair, Uncle Will? Let’s eat.” Half the burger disappeared in one bite. He chewed, a look of bliss on his face. A raspy noise like someone coughing up sandpaper forced his eyes open. “What?” He bit off another hunk.

“It’s a pleasure to watch you eat. I used to put it away too when I was your age. Don’t want much nowadays.”

“Why do you come to these reunions? Nobody pays attention to you. I don’t even know half my cousins—there’s new ones every year—you can’t know many. The older people are busy cooking, serving and packing up again. Why do you bother to come so far to sit ignored?”

Will chewed and looked away. “You’re all the family I have. No fun living alone in the retirement home. Still enjoy counting the additions to this huge family every year. My friends are gone or dying. I’ll be gone soon, too.”

“Are you sick? Why don’t you live with us? Never understood why you didn’t in the first place. You wouldn’t be lonely in our house. Guaranteed.” Josh leaned over the plate in his lap, earnest brown eyes studying the man he wanted to know.

“Your father has badgered me for years. Can’t do it, son.”

“Why not? You’re Dad’s only brother. Why the heck not?” A crimson river of heat rushed from his chest, over his face, to the roots of his pale blond brush-cut.

“You have your hands full with six aunts and cousins, never mind your mother’s side of the family. I have good 12-hour care. I’m good.” A quick wink and he speared a forkful of potato salad. “You’re right. Food tastes a hundred times better outside.”

Josh dove into the salad and bit into the second burger, thoughtful, eyes assessing his uncle. He swallowed and cleared his throat. “How come no one talks about what happened to you? I want to know, but Dad always makes excuses. I’m not talking about idle curiosity, understand?”

“Nothing to tell.”

“You’re a hero and nobody talks about it. I don’t understand.”

Will heaved a deep breath, wiping his face and hands with a crumpled paper serviette. Like I said, nothing to tell, but if I can answer, I will. What do you want to know?”

Josh grinned scraping together the last of the salad on his plate. “Easy one to start. Why does no one call you Bill Bailey? Why only Will?”

The coughing-sandpaper sound began low and grew in volume. “It’s nothing to do with the song. I was named William, shortened it to Will by my teens. Once I heard about the song, I made it clear my name was Will and nothing else. I’ve had the song hummed enough times to lose my sanity.”

The boy slapped the folded paper plate against his knee, then grew serious. What happened to your legs? Dad says you never married.”

It was the Vietnam War, son. I drove a jeep over a landmine… End of story. About not marrying—why sentence a young woman to a life of caretaking when she can do better?” A shadow of sadness flickered across his face and vanished. He handed the half-finished plate to the boy. “I’m done.”

“And the finger? What happened to the top half? Do you mind if I ask?” Nervous hands slid up and down his thighs.

This time, Will honked when he laughed. His nephew heaved his webbed sun chair closer, exhaling.

“That’s a funny story—stupid if you want to know. About 20 years ago, I worked a table saw, moved the wrong way, put my hand out to catch my balance, and well, lobbed it off. Passed out—don’t know how long. Afterwards no one could find it.” He shook his head. “Dumb accident.”

Neither of them spoke for long minutes.

“I want you to promise you will come visit more often and stay over a few nights.”

 

Once Josh’s friends knew him better, they liked hanging around Will. No one noticed the wheelchair after a while. His habit of stabbing the air with a finger when excited was another matter.

The End

© 2016 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles


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The First English Settlement and Oil

The day began with a disappointing fog, thick as porridge and I worried about the drive. On the bright side, the road wasn’t as winding as the previous day, but visibility wasn’t good. Soon, a fine drizzle drifted in. Mary and I weren’t in the front seat anymore, but back a couple seats. Yay.

The bus stopped in Whitbourne at Robyn’s Donut Shop for hot coffee and a stretch. It’s similar to Timmy’s in Ontario, but this establishment was takeout only. Two interesting travelers were pushing off as we exited. I wanted to ask about their biking adventures but didn’t want to run after them, nor come across as a stalker.

First English settlement

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In 1610 John Guy arrived from England with 39 men and meager supplies. They wintered in Cupids Cove (Plantation) and began building houses. The area was rocky and covered with mulberry, pine, spruce and fir trees. He returned to England the following year and came back with 16 women. Building started in earnest and more settlers followed. He attempted to establish trade with the Beothuks. In 1613 he left again never to return but became a Member of Parliament in his native land.

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We moved on to Cupids Legacy Centre, a building chock full of old collections, which took me down memory lane. Here’s a look inside and out.

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Some displays inside Legacy Centre:

Offshore Oil Quick Facts:

  • Hibernia 315 km from St. John’s
  • 200 miles offshore
  • 240 feet high / 224 meters
  • 33 meters higher than Calgary
  • Pumping 120,000 barrels a day
  • Cost $6 Billion
  • 1985 accord signed. Government wanted full control.
  • Why should Newfoundland be treated any different from Alberta?
  • Argued until PM Mulroney got in. Gulf oil bowed out.
  • Most oil fields have around a 20-year lifespan
  • Latest News June 17, 2016

Hebron Facts:

  • Hebron Project
  • Drilling begun 1981
  • 4 major fields: ExonMobil, Suncor, Statoil, Nalcor
  • Coming in a year or so (after 2015)
  • Contains 1.2 billion barrels of oil
  • Good for 20 years or more
  • Negotiated better deals than Alberta
  • Province gets 1%
  • After all costs paid, Newfoundland gets super royalty over the 30% they usually get
  • Funds go into general coffers
  • Hope a fund is set up for renewable resources

~ * ~

On the Lighter Side:

A young couple who tried to conceive met their old parish priest while walking down the street.

“How’s the family?”

“None. Can’t”

“I’m on my way to Rome. I’ll light a candle for you.”

Five years later, Mary was heavily pregnant when she met the priest again.

“I see it’s all working out for you.”

“Don’t talk, Father. Shortly after you said you were going to Rome and would light a candle, I had twins. After, I had another one. Now again.

“Good. Good. By the way, where is John?”

“He’s gone to Rome to blow out the candle.”

* * *

© 2016 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles.

For more related posts, click on Newfoundland / Labrador tab at the top of the page